RS and iQIYI team up for Thai remakes
RS Television Co, the operator of Channel 8, has teamed up with China's leading video streaming service provider, iQIYI, to remake its old popular movies into TV series broadcast online.
Nongluk Ngamroj, head of Channel 8, said the partnership with iQIYI aims not only to raise the company's revenue, but also to boost the popularity of Thai series and movie stars to the global market, similar to how Japan and South Korea have succeeded in capturing Thai audiences.
The company also hopes to widen its domestic audience, she said.
Channel 8 and iQIYI recently started remaking Romantic Blue, a timeless blockbuster movie from the 1990s, into a TV series of 12 episodes.
Somchai Kemglad, Suttida Kasemsant Na Ayutthaya and Pramote Seangsorn, who acted in the film, also star in the series.
Some new-generation actors and actresses will play characters in 2020's Romantic Blue the Series, including Thitiwat Ritprasert, Prachaya Ruangroj and Tipnaree Weerawatnodom. The series was directed by Ong-Art Singlumpong.
"This is the first original series for Channel 8, which will be aired at prime time simultaneously in 20 countries in Southeast Asia, North America, Europe and East Asia on the streaming platform of iQIYI," Ms Nongluk said.
The fan base of the Thai series will be broadened by broadcasting on Channel 8 and the iQIYI app on Saturday and Sunday from 9.40pm, starting from Dec 12, she said.
Prior to partnering with iQIYI, Channel 8 produced its series for WeTV, POPs TV and Line TV.
Ms Nongluk said the popularity of watching dramas via an online platform has continued growing because over-the-top (OTT) services provided by domestic and international players offer various content, both originals broadcast on a particular platform and reruns.
These shows reached an audience of 900,000 via OTT service in 2018, with the figures rising to 1.3 million viewers this year and expected to reach 2.1 million viewers by 2023.
"The consumption behaviour of viewers has changed. OTT video streamers are the most compelling because they are incredibly popular among new-generation consumers thanks to easy access and various content alternatives," she said.
Parnsuk Tongrob, head of international content acquisition for iQIYI International Singapore Pte, said the company believes its content and that of Channel 8 can broaden viewership domestically and internationally.